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May 16, 2007

The port of Marseilles

BY: César Fuertes



We arrived on Sunday, after spending half a day bouncing over the many high Mediterranean waves which were the result of a fresh 40-knot southeasterly wind. We’ve taken advantage of these few days of bad weather to make small repairs, wait for the technical service on the satellite telephone and to swap guests. Our good friend Ben disembarked, who we’d given sea legs to through the rough weather, and we welcomed on board a member of the Oceana Board in the United States.

The Ranger presents a powerful image, showing off its sharp prows to the City Hall of Marseille. We’ve done a lot of work on this old tin can so that it can carry us halfway around the Mediterranean. Now it is enjoying the rest of a warrior.

Up until now, the trip hasn’t given us much, but the “hunting” days in the Gulf of Leon were productive; we located and recorded eight fishing boats with illegal driftnets. The most surprising thing was the lack of emotion by the fishermen, whether real or , you hope that if you catch someone red-handed they at least feel guilty. We get the impression from them that they are doing nothing wrong, and you have to force yourself to think of the dolphins, tortoises, moonfishes and other species that they massacre every year.

Life on board follows an agreeable routine, watches, cleaning rota, lots of laughter and the feeling of doing something useful. Living conditions on board are not exactly like a cruise ship, but the size of the Range allows the moments of privacy required at sea. Also, the cook looks after us as if we were at home and I think I’m putting on weight. How great it is to eat well while you sail!